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Collie - Darkan Rail Trail - Trail Description



Collie - Darkan Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: 202km south of Perth
Start/end: Buckingham to Dardadine
Status: Open
Length open: 63km
Surface: Compacted earth, Coarse gravel
Terrain: Flat and undulating
Best seasons: Late summer (due to heat) is probably the least favourable time to use the trail, late autumn to early summer is ideal. August to October is the best time to catch the vast array of wildflowers although some can be found all year.
Contact Region: Western Australia
Cowcher Bridge
Cowcher Bridge
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes



An easily graded trail through rolling farmland and bushland (jarrah and wandoo countryside) with picnic tables along the route.

An open cut coalmine at Buckingham and spectacular wildflowers in spring.


• The trail surface was graded and rolled twice during construction and contains sufficient clay to maintain a relatively firm surface all year. It is suitable for hybrid type bikes and possibly some wheelchairs. The rail trail is relatively flat and has lots of access points from Coalfields Highway which is typically only 100-200m away from the trail. The rail trail committee recommends that all horses using the trail be shod as the gravel stones in the trail surface can cause problems for horse's hooves.

• The Darkan bridge has gravel over blue metal ballast while the other four bridges have timber decking.

• Food, drink and supplies are available in Collie and Darkan however nothing in between the two towns. Trail users are advised to carry sufficient water for two days unless they have vehicular support.

• The old station at Bowelling (to be renovated) can be used as an overnight stopover if required (located approximately halfway between Darkan and Collie). It is visible from the Coalfields Highway, next to the Duranillin turnoff, and has a picnic table with seats and a water tank. The station building is unlocked and there is a visitors book to sign. The station building also contains a photographic display of the rail trail development and some local history.

• A section of the former rail alignment (between Collie and Buckingham) is currently the site of a major open cut coalmine. It is possible the trail will be extended to Collie once the mine is finished and the area rehabilitated.

• The trail now extends past Darkan to Hillman Siding and onto Dardadine stopping just short of where the Dardadine siding was located.

• The Shire of West Arthur has identified the long-term potential of another rail trail between Bowelling and Duranillin and a spur trail to Hillman Nature Reserve.

Background Information

The government narrow gauge railway line opened in 1907 and closed in the early 1990s. Construction of the trail between Buckingham and Darkan began in 2002 and opened in October 2005. It was extended from Darkan to Dardadine in 2017. 


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The rail trail is managed by the Shire of West Arthur as well as the Shire of Collie

Collie Visitor Centre 156 Throssell St Collie WA 6225

Ph: 9734 2051

Fax: 9734 7518



Friends of the Collie to Darkan Rail Trail Group Inc email:

January 2021

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08 October , 2018 by HeronBird

This rail trail has been extended another 15 kilometres to Hillman. For more details see my blog about my ride on the Collie Darkan Rail Trail

17 December , 2013 by Wombat

My name is Robert Gates and I recall having a meeting in Collie Shire Office with Connie Francis from Wisconsin USA. I was Chariman of the South West Trails Group Inc at the time and assume that is where your origins are found. Is there any information left any where about the SWTG based in Bunbury, or any one who recalls what the group did or maybe didnt do. I would be keen to hear from you for my personal study reasons in Diploma in Management in Alice Springs. PS you certainly have developed a long way since my time in Rails to Trails

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